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οὐδὲ -- ὄντας. Cf. 1 354 A note αὖθις γενόμενοι ‘born again’ implies the re-incarnation of the Soul, as described in the end of Book X: see on 608 D ff. It is from casual allusions like the present, made in all seriousness, that we can best understand how profound and practical was Plato's belief in immortality. The seed sown here may bear its fruit in another life, so that the educator need not despair. εἰς μικρὸν κτλ. is not merely ironical but incredulous. We need not therefore (with J. and C.) be surprised at Glauco's incredulity and wonder in X 608 D. For οὐδέν ‘a mere nothing’ ‘nought,’ the much less expressive οὐδένα was conjectured by Hirschig and others. An exact parallel may be found in X 608 C. The grandeur and elevation of this passage recall VI 486 A.
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